After much deliberation and two recounts, the Student Government senate got it right.
A Greek Week concert for $30,000 was too much for the students to fork over. According to proponents of the proposal, the event would have been open to all students.
But the time and location of the concert – at Greek Village during Greek Week – made it clear the majority of the concert’s attendees would be Greeks.
Even though the concert would have been in conjunction with a philanthropic event – donating canned goods and school supplies to the University Community Center – it still looked like they were trying to invite a favorite band to come play in their backyard.
The planned community service project, albeit a nice gesture, didn’t win senators over.
A few senators in opposition even said the proposal seemed like the Greek Week Committee wanted to use the concert to promote their own agenda.
“I think we can do better than that,” Sen. Jenn Wilson wrote in an e-mail sent to SG senators. “I don’t think we need to bother coming up with gross figures and liability protections to assist the Greek community with their endeavors. There are many ways for us to promote public service and the many sectors of USF’s community without expending such a large sum of money.”
Wilson’s and 16 other senators’ decisions were far from selfish, despite what student body President Maxon Victor might say.
“The senate needs to evaluate whether or not they have personal interests in mind or interests for the student body,” Victor said in Wednesday’s Oracle. “If they had the interest of the student body in mind they would have supported this. I felt overall this was a shameful display of Student Government leadership.”
If the point of the concert was to enlighten the student body about Greek Life, the student body should have had a say in the band selection process.
It’s true a majority of USF students don’t understand the fraternity and sorority system, since a majority of students attending the University are commuters. But requesting a huge chunk of student change to bring Less Than Jake, Brand New or Alkaline Trio isn’t going to improve relations or understanding among the two.
It’s true Greeks are often met with negative stereotypes, and this concert had the potential to either erode or exacerbate that image. That’s why senators were afraid to approve funding.
It looked like the Greek Week Committee had taken the right steps in locating the bands and preparing security for the event.
But a nationally recognized band would have been nice for less than $30,000.
Students will have to wait to see what event the Greek Week Committee will propose to entice the student body.